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Sustainable crop production in Chile: Challenges, solutions and the role of biodiversity

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This is an exciting PhD opportunity combining academic and industrial experience to form intellectually challenging and applied research with practical outcomes for fruit growers. It involves fieldwork and lab work to understand the role of biodiversity underpinning crop production in Chile, a leader in fruit export. There are opportunities to work alongside recognised research scientists, major retailers and a leading producer organisation with close integration with fruit growers and other industrial end users.

Production of stone fruits such as avocado is expanding worldwide, yet many of the regions where these crops are grown are also globally important hotspots of biodiversity and there are increasing concerns that this rapid expansion in production is having a negative impact on local resources and natural habitats. The aim of this project is to quantify the contribution of biodiversity to stone fruit production through pest regulation and pollination and better understand the consequences of overuse of resources such as water and land-use change on crop production in order to help develop more sustainable practices.

What is the CTP?
This funded project forms part of the Waitrose Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) between the Waitrose Partnership, their international food production and supply companies, Lancaster University, the University of Reading, University of Warwick and Rothamsted Research. The CTP will deliver studentships on the themes of sustainable crop production, sustainable soil and water and biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture. This project is based at University of Reading.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have the minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Ecology, Agriculture or Biological science and hold a full UK driving license. MSc in a relevant subject with experience of carrying out a short research project is desirable (not essential).

Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£14,777 2018/2019 tax-free) for 4 years for UK/EU students subject to eligibility criteria. Unfortunately, studentships are not available to non-UK/EU applicants.


For further details please contact; Dr Michael Garratt, [email protected] or for application queries contact Roz Wareing, [email protected] . Visit the Waitrose CTP Website

Follow the instructions on How to apply of the Waitrose CTP website

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